Monday, December 26, 2011

End of Year Reading: Justin Torres and...

Day after Christmas... is everyone shopping? I'm on vacation and yes I'll be shopping later. *g* In the meantime, I've been reading! Yes, between Friday after work, the crazy and lovely Noche Buena and a lovely and lazy Christmas Day, I read. This year it wasn't my turn to cook, bake, or do the honors. That fell to one of my lovely sisters-in-law and one of my brothers. *g* So, I'm enjoying a relaxing holiday season.

What did I read? A couple of GREAT books from my "to be read" pile that I left as end-of-year reads. The first book I read Friday night, and the one that really impacted me the most?

We The Animals by Justin Torres


  • I would say, why oh why did I wait until the end of the year to read this little book? On the one hand I want to kick myself for waiting, but then... it was the perfect time to read it too. We the Animals is not a perfect book, but my goodness this debut novel by Justin Torres certainly makes an impact! I will probably review it or talk about it in January because I think I have to, but yes... a little gem. (2011, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Then of course I picked up some Christmas related romance novellas, and I went with these:

A Regency Christmas VII 


  • From this anthology, I read The Christmas Ghost by Sandra Heath, The Rake's Christmas by Edith Layton, and The Surprise Party by Mary Balogh. These short novellas were perfect. They got me into the holiday spirit as I readied myself for our lovely Christmas Eve celebration with family and friends. (1995 Signet)

Lone Star by Josh Lanyon & Winter Knights by Harper Fox


  • As part of the Men Under the Mistletoe anthology, both of these stories are second chance-at-love stories that take place during Christmas and both of them have that bit of the "miracle" about them. Josh Lanyon's Lone Star, is the story of two childhood friends, a ballet dancer and a Texas Ranger, whose love ended a long time ago when they were young men. His story has a western flavor because of setting, although not necessarily a western theme. A Lanyon-style romance without a mystery to solve at the end. Harper Fox's White Knights is a contemporary Arthurian tale set in Northumberland. As always I enjoyed her characters' struggles and darkish writing style. There are second chances, and then there are second chances... and Fox's characters certainly find out what the term means in this Christmas story. (2011, Carina Press)

And I finished a couple of anthologies I began reading earlier:

Best Gay Stories 2011 edited by Peter Dubé


  • This is an anthology I began reading a couple of months ago and kept on reading slowly. There are some excellent novellas in here. One of my favorite stories by Sandra McDonald is included, and of course other writers whose works I've come to really enjoy as well. I actually became interested in reading the anthology after reading the "blurb" and Mr. Dubé's focus for this anthology. (2011 Lethe Press)
When we tell our own stories, it becomes clear that we’ve moved well past the sentimental coming out story, the boy-meets-boy romance, the dangers and pleasures of sexual adventure, and we’ve done it without having to abandon them--because those things still happen and are still important. But we’ve found new ways of thinking about them, and have more experience to share, a deeper understanding of them, and we’ve added an array of other stories, from other parts of our lives, and dreams, and troubles to them. We’ve moved past the “gay story” and towards “gay stories.”
The other anthology I finished is erotica!

Three to Tango with 
Emma Holly, Lauren Dane, Megan Hart, Bethany Kane


  • This is another anthology I began reading a while back and just finished off! Now, I can tell you that I most definitely have favorites from this collection of novellas where threesomes (M/M/F) give it its name. For me those two stories are Dirty/Bad/Wrong by Lauren Dane and Flipping for Chelsea, the hot, hot story by Emma Holly. Of course, Megan Hart's Just One Night and Bethany Kane's On the Job fit the name of this anthology to the "t" and they are enjoyable as well. So you can pick and choose, but all are good erotic reads. (2011, Berkley Heat) 
So, that was my weekend/holiday reading! These were all short reads, but a good beginning to my vacation reading and a great way to end the year! I have one more week to go, let's see if I find any other little gems before then. :D

3 comments:

  1. I'm all for holiday stories! and that anthology looks nice :)

    So do the rest of your reads, I hope you have a great week!

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  2. That sounds like the perfect way to spend the holiday weekend! Enjoy your vacation. :)

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  3. It's a great anthology Alex!

    Leslie, I'm enjoying it! Thank you.

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